Best Drill Bits For Hardened Steel – November 2023 Buyer’s Guide and Reviews
Let’s face it, most household projects only require a steel drill bit with a tapered point to get the job done.
However, when drilling through hardened steel, a strong heat-resistant drill bit for metal is a must have.
Hardened steel can be tough mostly because it includes iron, titanium, and stainless steel all heated up and hardened at temperatures as high as 1450 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, you will need the best drill bits for hardened steel 2023 to get the job done. Here are a couple of bits made with high-speed steel and cobalt for your drilling needs.
What is the Best Drill Bits For Hardened Steel in November 2023?
- Irwin Industrial Tools 316015
- Irwin Tools 3018002
- DEWALT DW1354
- DEWALT DW1263
- DEWALT DWA1240
- Irwin Industrial Tools 63221
- HYCLAT HSS0501
- Drill America DWD29J-CO-PC
- Hymnorq Metric M35
- Neiko 10178A
|Irwin Industrial Tools 316015|
Material: Cobalt M-42 Metal
Size: (2) 1/16", (2) 5/64", 3/32", (2) 7/64", 1/8", (2) 9/64", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"
|Irwin Tools 3018002|
Material: Cobalt M-35 Metal
Size: from 1/16" to 1/2" in 1/64" increments
Size: from 1/6" to 1/2"
Size: (2) 1/16" (1) 5/64" (1) 3/32" (1) 7/64" (2) 1/8" (1) 9/64" (1) 5/32" (1) 3/16" (1) 7/32" (1) 1/4" (1) 5/16" (1) 3/8"
Size: (2) 1/16" bit, (1) 5/64" bit, (1) 3/32" bit, (1) 7/64" bit, (2) 1/8" bit, (1) 9/64" bit, (1) 5/32" bit, (1) 3/16" bit, (1) 7/32" bit, (1) 1/4" bit, (1) 5/16" bit, (1) 3/8" bit
| Neiko 10178A|
Material: Cobalt steel
|Irwin Industrial Tools 63221|
Material: Cobalt High-speed steel
Size: from 1/16" to 3/8" in 1/64" increments
Size: 1/4"-1"-3/8" (10 steps), 3/16" -7/8" (12 steps), 3/16" -1/2" (13 steps), 1/8" -1/2" (6 steps), 1/4" -3/4" (9 steps),
|Drill America DWD29J-CO-PC|
Size: 1/16" to 1/2" in 1/64" increments
| Hymnorq Metric M35|
Material: Alloyed cobalt
Irwin Industrial Tools 316015 Review
Irvin Industrial Tools 316015 hails from one of the most reputable brands in the power tools industry.
Basically, IRWIN delivers professional grade accessories, hand tools and power tools.
With the Irvin Industrial Tools 316015 you get value for money with a set of drill bits that are built for tough projects.
Made from Cobalt steel, these drill bits have durable cutting edges that maintain their sharp cutting capacity, needing minimal maintenance.
These bits have a shank reduced above 3/8 inches allowing for their use with larger drill bits in a 3/8 inch chuck.
The tips come with a 135 degree split that starts on contact to enable cutting with less force. Plus thanks to the various bit sizes available, there just about every bit size you need for most common applications.
From price to performance, the Irvin Industrial Tools 316015 is hard to beat. It comes with bits capable of drilling through hard surfaces and materials. To make your work much easier, you can use oil to minimize heat buildup.
However, these bits are well able to handle the friction and the heat thanks to the 5 percent cobalt make.
Irwin Tools 3018002 Review
Irwin is one of the most respected American manufacturers of power tools, hand tools, and other accessories.
With over a century of craftsmanship, it’s easy to trust the quality of their power tools.
The Irwin Tools 3018002 is certainly one of their best products considering its quality build.
This drill bit set is designed for heavy-duty drilling through hardened steel thanks to a cobalt construct capable of extreme heat and abrasion resistance. With close to 30 pieces in the package, you get more accessories for any type of heavy duty job you can think of.
Plus since the shank on these bits has been reduced, you get to use larger drill bits in a 3/8 inch chuck.
The set comes in removable bit cartridge that makes it easy to carry around especially if you are a professional in the worksite.
If you are looking for a variety of bit sizes that will help you through working with hard steel, Irwin Tools 3018002 is a solid pick.
Apart from being able to drill through tough metal not to mention heavy-duty abrasive alloys and hardened steel, this set comes in a rubber overmolded case that offers decent storage for your tools.
DEWALT DW1354 Review
Ask any seasoned DIYer or professional contractor and they will tell you that DEWALT is one of the top manufacturers in the making of impact driver bits and cordless drill bits that get the job done.
With the DEWALT DW1354, you get a set of drill bits with a titanium coating that cuts through non-ferrous metals like butter.
These bits are machined for precision with a patented pilot point tip that starts on contact and eliminates walking.
Furthermore, you get a set with a family of the most commonly used bits suitable for any application whether commercial or at home. As if that’s not enough the carrying case that this set comes with is ideal for keeping your tools organized which is great.
From a professional contractor in a worksite to a DIYer working on a project at home, DEWALT DW1354 delivers precision cutting with its titanium pilot point drill bits that can cut through hardened steel easily.
You can use them to drill holes through metal pipes without worrying about walking as the pilot point eliminates it. Plus they are durable and pocket-friendly.
DEWALT DW1263 Review
At this point, it’s pretty clear that Dewalt has cornered the drill bit market.
Well, DEWALT DW1263 is another drill bit set from Dewalt that is capable of hardened steel drilling thanks to the industrial strength cobalt that the bits are made of.
The bits come neatly packaged in a case made from industrial grade ABS material capable of withstanding rough environments common in most worksites.
Inside the case is an assortment of bits that have been machined for precision so that you get durability and fast cutting through hard metals. With a pilot point tip design, the bits are able to reduce walking while drilling on metal pipes or during start-up.
Anyone looking to make quick work of some hardened steel knows the best option is to simply stick with a tool from Dewalt.
Apart from benefiting from the durable casing that comes with the DEWALT DW1263, you also get industrial strength bits made with cobalt to make your work go faster.
The kit also included a good number of bit sizes ranging from 1/6 inches to 5/16 inches for working on a variety of tasks.
DEWALT DWA1240 Review
Look, if you are tired of always breaking all your bits while working on projects that require heavy duty drilling, it’s time to get the DEWALT DWA1240.
It comes with a design fit for maximum speed drilling with zero bit walking on metal surfaces hence better control.
DEWALT DWA1240 features 14 pieces that are made with industrial cobalt and specifically designed for hard metal drilling.
With M35 grade bits and a cobalt construct that keeps the bits sharp for long, this set presents some of the best bits you will ever own.
The bits are machined with a pilot point and split tip design for more control. Plus the set contains commonly used bits with a set that includes bits of all sizes ranging from 1/16 inches to 3/8 inch bits.
Drilling holes to put sheet metals on your car or trying to fix the door of your car can be a complex tax when you don’t have the right tools. With DEWALT DWA1240, you can cut through the hard metal parts fast and make the necessary repairs where need be.
Basically, this set of drill bits is made up of quality cobalt bits that are indestructible even when put through the paces. Be sure to use oil and some straight drilling techniques for best results.
Irwin Industrial Tools 63221 Review
With over 100 years of skin in the game, we had to feature another IRWIN set of drill bits.
This time round, the Irwin Industrial Tools 63221 makes a strong choice for those looking ofr an set of bits with super abrasive resistance.
The Irwin Industrial Tools 63221 makes works easy with a 135 degree split point that significantly reduces feed pressure.
The heavy duty spiral flute design enables faster chip ejection for a clean and easy job. Plus the bit sizes are versatile enough for easy application no matter the task at hand.
If you need a set of drill bits for hardened steel with versatility and top performance, Irwin Industrial Tools 63221 makes a solid pick. Its flute design does not only work to make your work easy but also leaves a clean job with fast chip ejection.
With 21 pieces to the set , you get drill bits capable of handling every hard surface thanks to a titanium nitride and cobalt coating at 5 percent.
HYCLAT HSS0501 Review
HYCLAT HSS0501 are designed to impress right out of the box.
They come in a foam packaging that is convenient for storage.
With a variety of application, the 5-bit pieces can work as 50 piece twist drill bits which is great.
The bits are also made to be corrosion and rust free thanks to a titanium coating that they come with.
The bits have a split point tip at 118 degrees with an X shape to prevent drill slipping while working in high speed.
They feature a two flute design that prevents splashing not to mention a reduce waste and enable easy operation.
If you are looking for a set of bits that will help you make holes in a stainless steel brew kettle or something of the sort, HYCLAT HSS0501 are a good pick. Thanks to the two flutes design, working with this drill is a great way to prevent the scrap from splashing.
If you need drills to enlarge holes or to chamfer and bur, these step still bits will work well on a number of materials including steel sheet, aluminum, plastic and even wood.
Drill America DWD29J-CO-PC Review
With 29 pieces to its set, Drill America DWD29J-CO-PC boasts of the admiration of most users and for a good reason.
It’s made by a manufacturer who has been in the tool making and supplying business since 1927 and boasts a ton of experience making quality bits.
Plus it stands out with its 135 degree split point cutting angle.
The set includes bit sizes that range from 1/16 inches to 1/2 inches.
The spiral flute design is also ideal for easy removal of chips plus the cobalt material makes the drills durable for long term use.
The casing comes in handy when indexing your drill bits plus its portable enough for work on a busy work site. In fact the helical twist design of the flutes allows for the coolant to get to the cutting edges thus reducing heat buildup.
In terms of performance, this set of bits can be used for drilling deeper holes that require longer reach. This is thanks to the long length twist drill bits that are designed for deep holes.
The set also provides variety thanks to the 1/64 inch increments in bit sizes ranging from 1/16 inch to ½ inch.
Hymnorq Metric M35 Review
Even though Hymnorq is a little known brand, it boasts of great reviews from users and backs it all up with quality bits made of 5 percent cobalt and 95 percent high speed steel.
With a straight shank design and a spiral flute make, Hymnorq Metric M35 is great for cutting though stainless steel and cast iron. The cobalt alloy in the bits makes them strong enough to survive some level of punishment.
Plus the metric design of the bit sizes make them perfect no matter the task at hand.
To put it simply, these bits have the quality that makes them ideal for every day DIYers and professionals. You can use them for heavy duty tasks as well as light projects.
Neiko 10178A Review
Lastly, let’s look at Neiko 10178A.
This set features incredibly tough drill bits designed for quick penetration though abrasive materials or hardened metals.
Thanks to a cobalt steel construct the bits can handle strength and heat resistance enabling them to last long.
Plus the set has some of the commonly used drill bits with sizes that you will find useful for most tasks. They include a range of sizes from 1/6 inches to ¼ inch.
Plus you can easily keep your bits organized thanks to the metal index box that comes with the package
If you need to work on some steel, you need high-quality cobalt drill bits, this set certainly fits the bill. It features robust drill bits with a 135 split point design that gets the cutting and drilling done fast.
With straight shanks and ground flutes, these drill bits get rid of debris easily making them ideal for a clean job.
Buyers Guide: How to pick the best drill bits for hardened steel
Compared to drilling through wood, making holes or cutting through metal is never a walk in the park. It requires the strongest and toughest drill bits.
If you have a drill bit with a tapered point, there is a good chance it will disappoint when you put it through the paces working with hardened metal.
With that in mind, there are a couple of things to look out for when shopping for the drill bits that make working with metal easy. You need to think about the material of the bit, the coating of the bits, flute design and drill point angle to mention but a few.
Drill Bit material
The material of the drill bit will determine performance and efficiency. Obviously, if you are looking to drill through hard steel objects and surfaces, you will need a drill bit made from even tougher metal.
Considering hardened steel is more durable, more resistant and less susceptible to wear and tear, the following materials are commonly used to cut through it.
Also known as Carb, this here is the hardest and most brittle material for drill bits you will find. The drill bits made of carbide are designed for the most demanding, heavy duty metal work.
However, these bits can be super brittle as well. This simply means that they can easily snap or break if you use them with hand drills or drill presses as they tend to bend and break.
This material is quite popular for most drilling bits. However, unlike carbide, it can only be useful for drilling through soft steel, wood, and plastic. It a great option if you are looking for drill bits that can handle lightweight metal work at a pocket-friendly price.
Compared to high-speed steel, cobalt is considered to be more of an upgrade. With about 5 to 8 percent of cobalt in its base material, drill bits that are made of this material are great for hardened steel drilling. They can also be used for drilling through stainless steel.
Construction design of the bit
The design of the drill bit will also determine the performance and speed of drilling. Here are some factors to consider.
Drill point lengths
While working with metal, you will need shorter drill bits as they are known to be more accurate and rigid when compared to longer ones. Plus drilling through metal with a longer bit length can lead to walking or even breaking of the bit.
Drill point angle
Most common drill point angle come at about 118 degrees as the standard angle.
However, there is also a 135-degree self-centering drill point angle that enables faster drilling, especially while working with steel surfaces.
A drill bit’s flute design will help with chip removal out of the ole as well as the effectiveness of the drill bit. There are two types available. One is the standard type that comes with most bits with a 30-degree angle.
The other one is a parabolic design that is most effective for cutting through soft materials like plastic.
Different types of coating on the drill bit have different benefits to the overall quality and performance of the drill bit. A black oxide coating, for instance, enables less friction while increasing chip flow, however, it’s not ideal for nonferrous materials.
Some bits come with a TiN coating that increases the durability of the bits.TiCN is also a great coating material that keeps bits harder and wears resistant.
Look, there is nothing more important while working on a heavy-duty task that requires cutting through some hardened steel than choosing the right drill bit. It can get complicated considering there are a wide variety of drilling bits available for almost every application under the sun.
However, not that we have given you 10 of the best drill bits for hardened steel, you can have an easy time shopping and look for the best deal that suits your needs. Be sure to also check out the buying guide to learn more about drilling through hard steel.